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newsclips -- Newsclips for July 13, 2011

Posted: 13 Jul 2011 13:47:12
California Air Resources Board News Clips for July 13, 2011.  

This is a service of the California Air Resources Board’s Office
of Communications.  You may need to sign in or register with
individual websites to view some of the following news articles.


EPA Says All Texas Plants Will Get New Air Permits.  Nearly 140
Texas plants, including some of the nation's largest refineries,
have reached a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
to receive new permits even though a long-standing battle between
the Lone Star State and the federal agency is far from over.   
AP Newsbreak:

SCIENCE: Air Pollution Linked To Depression, Forgetfulness.
Feeling a bit slow and depressed? It just might be the Inland
area's foul air.  Neuroscientists at Ohio State University have
linked fine-particle air pollution to slow thinking, bad memory
and depressive-like behaviors in mice. The exposed animals also
were found to have abnormal brain cells, inhibiting the flow of
electrical impulses that transmit information. Posted. 

Local Air Quality Laurels Awarded. Breathe California Central
Coast has recognized three Central Coast organizations and
individuals with its 2011 Annual Clean Air Awards. The awards are
in three categories: ª Leadership: Janet Brennan of Carmel Valley
for her more than 40 years of dedication to air quality advocacy.
ª Technology: Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority of Salinas,
for reducing greenhouse gas emissions …Posted.

5 Air Pollution Facts And Myths. Ever wonder why air pollution is
worse on hot summer days? Extreme heat across much of the U.S.
this week is triggering potentially unhealthy levels of air
pollution, at least for those especially sensitive to dirty air,
according to the Environmental Protection Agency. When air
pollution levels rise, people are wise to stay indoors, or at
least avoid heavy exertion outdoors when ozone levels are highest
(typically in the afternoon and evening on hot summer days).


Climate Debate Buried Under Recent Air Quality Standards In House
Markup. A House bill to destabilize U.S. EPA's regulatory
authority passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee
yesterday, one of the more recent efforts to block recent EPA
regulations under the Clean Air Act. Described variously as both
a "common-sense approach" and an act "only despots would
support," the "Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on
the Nation Act of 2011" -- Posted.

Senators, Think Tanks Form New Carbon Capture Alliance. The
potential carbon reductions from enhanced oil recovery are vast,
according to some estimates. It could store permanently at least
a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, or about a sixth of the
U.S. annual total output, within two decades, said Vello
Kuuskraa, president of Advanced Resources International Inc., a
consulting company. Posted.


Pittsburgh Panel Oks Diesel Limits For Contractors.  Pittsburgh
City Council has approved a bill that would limit diesel
emissions on contractors' vehicles used in city-subsidized
construction projects.  The bill was hailed as the first
clean-air law passed by council since the middle of last century,
though Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's office says he was still reviewing
the bill and uncertain if he would sign it. The bill passed
Tuesday with a veto-proof 8-0 majority, however, making that a
formality.  Posted.  http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_18468351


No Eureka Moments In Long U.S. Campaign To Crack Cellulosic Code.
Fourth in an occasional series on the bioeconomy. Down on a farm
in Illinois, his forearm stuck inside the noisome gut of a living
and otherwise unperturbed brown cow, Matthias Hess, a German-born
microbiologist and geneticist, felt far removed from the white
hum of his biology lab. Hess had been fishing in the cow's rumen,
its largest stomach, for a nylon mesh sack resembling an
oversized teabag. The stink of vomit mixed with rotten eggs and
fertilizer. Working through a permanent rubberized hole carved
into the heifer's side, Hess waited for its half-digested slop to
churn, freeing his hand. Posted.

Desperate Times Call For Dirty Energy. Driving his black Chevy
pickup to the top of the bluff where Baard Energy wants to build
the first large-scale plant in the United States that would turn
coal into liquid fuels, Rick Williams points a thick index finger
at the vacant homes and empty store fronts that make up his Ohio
River Valley town and reminisces about what used to be. Posted.


Kicking Hybrid Cars Out of the Fast Lane. California Stops
Letting Solo Hybrid Drivers in the Carpool Lane, Boosting Other
Technologies; Will Other States Follow? Most things you buy don't
call for research into whether shifting federal and state
policies could hit the value of your purchase. Fuel-efficient,
advanced-technology vehicles are an exception. Interest in
natural-gas-fueled cars such as this Civic is growing in
California. Posted.

Working On The Railroad. Loud, black smoke-billowing engines used
to be the image conjured up when people thought about trains
running through town. Now the image is "green?" Northern
California Railroad Co., which runs trains almost daily through
Tehama, Glenn, and Colusa counties, was honored in June by
Breathe California out of Sacramento with the 2011 Clean Air
Champion Business Award for playing a model role in helping
reduce noise and emission along their routes. Posted.

Natural Gas Trash Trucks Coming to Town? For nearly two decades,
Waste Management says it has helped the environment by replacing
standard garbage trucks with ones that run on cleaner fuel:
natural gas created by recycling trash. As city officials and
Waste Management workers gathered Tuesday at the company’s Long
Beach hauling facility to celebrate the deployment of their
1,000th natural-gas-powered recycling truck…Posted.

New York City Sells (And Buys) Electric Cars. New York -- This
city is pitching electric cars to its residents almost as
aggressively as the carmakers themselves in its push to clean the
air and lower its carbon footprint. Yesterday, the New York City
government hosted a free screening of the new documentary
"Revenge of the Electric Car" at a location deep inside Central
Park. The follow-on to "Who Killed the Electric Car?" originally
screened in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this
year. Posted.


G.O.P. Bid to Void Light Bulb Law Fails. House Republicans on
Tuesday failed to advance a measure that would repeal regulations
that increase efficiency standards for light bulbs, rules that
they have assailed as an example of government overreach. “The
2010 elections demonstrated that Americans are fed up with
government intrusion,” Representative Joe Barton, a Texas
Republican who proposed the repeal, said in a debate on Monday.

California Leads Nation In 'Green Jobs,' Study Says. The
Brookings Institution report, which is likely to draw more debate
over what constitutes a 'green' job, found that almost 320,000
people work in such jobs, and 90,000 of them are in the L.A.
metropolitan area. California continued to lead the nation in the
number of people with "green jobs," according to a study that
looked at the growing influence of the so-called clean economy.

S.F. Ranked 6th In U.S. For Green Jobs By Survey. San Francisco
considers itself a leader of the green economy, a font of
eco-friendly jobs. But according to a new survey, Philadelphia
has more. So do Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.
The survey, to be released today by the Brookings Institution,
attempts to count green jobs nationwide. It ranked San Francisco
sixth among U.S. metropolitan areas, with 51,811 jobs providing
goods or services that help the environment. Posted.

Bay Area A 'Clean Economy' Powerhouse, New Study Finds.  The
nation's clean economy -- defined as goods and services with an
environmental benefit -- employs about 2.7 million people, more
than the fossil-fuel industry and twice the size of the
biosciences sector, according to a new report to be released
Wednesday by the Brookings Institution.  California's 318,156
"clean economy" jobs, which include everything from waste
management and treatment to mass transit and organic farming,
make up 2.1 percent of all jobs in the state, according to the
report.  Posted. 

San Diego's Green Jobs Grow In National Report. Local leaders say
numbers are larger than shown. The green economy in metropolitan
San Diego remains modest despite years of efforts to bolster
industries that create environmental benefits, according to a
national assessment being released today by the Brookings
Institution and Battelle. Posted.

Clean Technology Can Create 2.7M Jobs, But Do Those Jobs Cut
Emissions? Today's "clean economy" comprises about 2.7 million
jobs, according to new research, but relatively few of these
contribute major carbon cuts. In a wide-ranging count of "green
jobs," the Brookings Institution and Battelle identified hundreds
of thousands of jobs in public transportation, waste collection
and management, and organic food. Jobs in renewable energy,
electric cars and other low-carbon technologies played a small
role. Posted.

Green Jobs Growing Across Country With West Leading. California
tops the rest of the nation in green energy jobs, the Brookings
Institution said in a new report that looks at the state of the
clean energy economy. The Golden State has more than 318,000
green energy workers, the report said, and added more than 79,000
jobs in the sector from 2003 through 2010. The West as a region
has the largest share of green jobs relative to its population.
But it is not alone in seeing the influence of clean energy
expansion. Posted.

San Francisco Resurrects PACE Program For Businesses. San
Francisco -- Businesses will have a new way to finance solar,
energy efficiency and other clean energy building retrofits under
legislation that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee (D) submitted today
to the city's Board of Supervisors. The proposal is a
resurrection of the Property Assessed Clean Energy loan model, in
which municipalities take out bonds to back property owners' home
upgrades. Posted.

So Much For GOP’s Light Bulb Bill.  Whether they decided they had
more important things to worry about than saving the inefficient
light bulb, or whether they were scared of enraging the ghost of
Thomas Edison, House members put the kibosh on a bill that would
have repealed light bulb efficiency standards.  Posted. 


Nanostructures Could Result In Cheaper Electric-Car Batteries.  A
Beijing startup called Wuhe is making electrode materials and
batteries that could lower the cost of electric vehicles. The
company uses nanostructures for battery materials that, like
other recent nanostructures, let the materials deliver the large
bursts of power needed for acceleration while maintaining energy
storage capacity. Posted. 


Editorial: Transportation Bill Must Fund An Array Of Modes. With
the nation facing a slow economic recovery, continuing
joblessness and aging transportation system, you'd think members
of Congress would make it a priority to renew the transportation
funding bill. Why not put people to work repairing deteriorating
roads and bridges and building the rail, transit, bike and
pedestrian systems that are essential to our prosperity? Posted.


With Tiny Cans, a New Trash Equation. Reaching for a petite
dessert dish instead of the mixing bowl may help you curb your
ice cream consumption. Grabbing a basket rather than a shopping
cart helps control how many “necessities” you pick up at the
store. Similarly, trading your office garbage can for a daintier
disposal bin may remind you to send less trash to the landfill.

Solar Panel Rebate Program To Relaunch In L.A. The Los Angeles
Department of Water and Power, the nation's largest municipal
utility, will hold public workshops this week in a move to
relaunch its troubled solar panel incentive program. In April,
the city shut down the program after it was overwhelmed with
applications and ran out of money. The DWP had budgeted $30
million for the program, which offers rebates to businesses and
residents to install rooftop solar panels to generate
electricity. Posted.

Recycled Tires, Soy Make Their Way into Ford Cars. Following up
on Nick Aster’s post last week, Ford Motor Company works with a
local Detroit manufacturer to churn old recycled tires and soy
into parts that now make their way into 11 of Ford’s vehicles.
Ford and its partner, Recycled Polymeric Materials (RPM), have
joined forces to make the components since 2008.  If the
technology can scale, this will serve an example of how the
manufacture of “sustainable” automobiles can progress far beyond
battery technology and alternative fuels. Posted. 

Spanish City Offers Lifetime Tram Passes in Exchange for Cars.
The city of Murcia, Spain is going to great lengths to help
reduce the city’s traffic congestion and to promote the use of
the greener method – public transportation. The bold move
involves offering citizens a lifetime pass to their
brand-spanking-new tram system — in exchange for their cars!

West Coast Erosion: A Glimpse Of Warming?  The entire U.S. West
Coast took a dramatic beating from the El Niño episode that ended
last year, a new study reveals, as powerful waves gouged away
chunks of shoreline at far higher levels than previously
measured.  And while El Niño remains a regional phenomenon, the
study’s lead author says such episodes, along with strong waves
and high water, could become more frequent as the planet warms in
the decades ahead.  Posted. 

Toyota Central R&D Labs Develops New Ferrihydrite Material That
Effectively Removes Ozone From Air.  Researchers at Toyota
Central R&D Labs Inc. (Japan) report in the journal Angewandte
Chemie the development of a mesoporous two-line ferrihydrite
(2LFh)—ferrihydrite is a widespread mineral composed of iron,
oxygen, and water—that could lead to a new generation of ozone
filters in electrostatic devices and aircraft applications. 

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